Former Kojima Productions dev: Japan isn’t adopting western game design

In an interview with Glixel, Jordan Amaro, a game designer currently working at Nintendo, talked about working on Metal Gear Solid V. Amaro joined Kojima Productions in 2013 to use his experience working on western shooters help make MGSV user-friendly for foreign experiences (as he puts it in the interview).

Jordan Amaro on an Episode of Kojima Station in 2013

However, Amaro doesn’t believe Japanese designers are necessarily looking at western game design to adapt certain elements into their games.

“I think, in three years on MGSV, I heard a Western game mentioned maybe once. That was on Ground Zeroes, and the discussion was about the circular enemy cone–when you get seen, how do you express that you’ve been seen by someone who is not displayed on the screen? If an enemy is watching you from the side and behind, how do we communicate this? At the time, Far Cry got mentioned.”

He continues:

“When a design discussion takes place, you usually don’t refer to other developers’ games. You talk about your game, and in very specific contexts and situations. In Japan, the pride about the craft is very high. You almost never hear another game being mentioned, whether it is a Japanese game or a Western game, during any design discussions. That’s contrary to the West. When I was in the West, I heard about other games on a weekly or daily basis.”

To read the interview, follow the link in the source section below. It’s an interesting piece that’s worth a read, with Jordan discussing the differences between western and Japanese game design, his early months at Kojima Productions and his favorite game designers and video games. He also believes there are still sharp people at Konami, and that we shouldn’t write them off.

“There are a ton of people you’ve never heard of who are just as sharp about the craft who are going to emerge in the coming years. Including at Konami. Don’t discount them. Don’t write them off. They’ve got some really good people there.”

Source: Glixel, still images from GamerSyde and Youtube, thanks NegaScott128!

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